Which is the Right Option for You?
According to statistics, 77% of Americans currently own smartphones. That’s up from 35% in 2011 when a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, a non-partisan American think tank, began measuring smartphone ownership trends. So, it’s no wonder that today, one-in-five American adults uses their smartphone to access the internet. Since the start of 2017, mobile has surpassed desktop use and that trend appears to be holding steady. But mobile phones aren’t the sole source of informational gadgets we use. In fact, we own a range of devices. Did you know that one-in-five U.S. adults favor electronic readers such as a Nook or Kindle? And nearly half own tablets? Tablet penetration has risen slowly over the past couple of years, and it’s projected that by 2020, tablets will be used by approximately 35% of all internet users. By 2019, predicts vpnMentor, that increase will lead to more than half of the American population using a tablet on a regular basis.
So, does this mean that PCs and laptops are dead or dying? Market research suggests otherwise. In fact, Pew says three quarters of US adults count desktop or laptop computers among the mix of devices they own. The Verge, a technology news and media network, says shipments of PCs are on the rise for the first time in six years. Market research firms Gartner and IDC both agree that the PC market grew in the second quarter of 2018, powered partially by a demand for Windows 10 business PCs. And they say, HP, Lenovo, Dell, Apple, and Acer all grew their PC businesses in the recent quarter, with competitors continuing to weaken. It’s clear that the top five manufacturers will continue to dominate the market as PC sales appear to be stabilizing after years of declines.
With this current data in hand, we decided to compare the pros and cons of laptops, PCs and tablets to help you decide which one best suits your lifestyle.
Today’s laptop computer is significantly smaller than it was even a few years ago.; it’s now possible to purchase lightweight laptops that have similar dimensions to a magazine. A typical laptop is comprised of two parts: the screen (there are now touchscreen versions on the market), and the hardware which includes: the keyboard, the CPU or processor, and the hard drive. The latest models offer next generation SSD or solid state drives that are higher-performing, faster and more reliable than previous hard drives.
The average laptop will also have a CD/DVD player, microphone and built-in camera. Although there is a built-in touch pad, many users prefer the comfort of a wireless mouse, which can be purchased separately.
- Portability is a major advantage; the streamlined dimensions of modern laptops only enhances this benefit. Additionally, you can connect them to WiFi hotspots, which are increasingly abundant.
- If you invest in a high-end laptop, you can get a gaming experience similar to that offered by a desktop.
- Laptops are becoming increasingly affordable.
- If you’re are out and about, you’ll be relying on the laptop’s limited battery power which is on average about two hours, before you’ll need to recharge the battery with an AC plug.
- There are limitations on hardware upgrades since a laptop’s architecture is more fixed than that of a PC.
Desktops are substantially bigger and heavier than laptops, and usually include a keyboard, mouse and monitor and tower. Desktops are the classic computer setup, and despite so-called conventional wisdom, they are still extremely popular. It is possible to incorporate the mouse into the keyboard, or you can purchase a desktop with a touchscreen. As a result, you no longer need to worry about the hassle of a mouse and keyboard.
- Ideal for gamers, as desktops can handle the higher temperatures that generally wreak havoc on laptops over a long period of time.
- Suitable for multitasking; this is not the case with laptops, where running multiple processes simultaneously will increase your CPU usage to 100 percent and cause your machine to run low on memory.
- It is typically less expensive to repair hardware components on desktops than laptops; laptop parts are proprietary and typically more expensive and time-consuming to repair.
- Due to the size and weight of desktops, they aren’t readily movable. Once you set them up, they’re pretty much there to stay!
- They take up more real estate and need a dedicated space.
Tablets are often seen as a bridge between smartphones and laptops, and they’re deemed ideal if you want to browse the internet or watch Netflix. Are they better than laptops or desktops? Read on to find out.
- Tablets are small, light and portable, so they can be taken anywhere.
- They offer a similar level of functionality and processing power as a desktop computer.
- You can use your tablet as a GPS device.
- A tablet battery typically lasts longer than a laptop battery.
- Using the keyboard takes some getting used to.
- Tablets have weaker capabilities than desktops and laptops overall.
- It’s very easy to damage the hardware and screen.
- The size of the screen is quite small compared to a laptop.
- Tablets screen repairs are unreliable and can cost as much as a new unit.
- There are few ports for accessories, and tablets can’t handle much data.
- Data recovery is more problematic than with a laptop or PC.
When choosing a new computer, purchase according to the usage it will have. It’s an important consideration since you’ll likely be spending hundreds of dollars. If you love gaming or need something with a lot of power and RAM, and you’re prepared to sacrifice portability, then a desktop is the best option for you. But, if you want to access the internet on the fly, a tablet may be the better way to go. However, if you’re writing a book or you’re a full-time student, you may want a stronger more reliable machine with a mixture of capabilities that only a laptop can offer.